Wow, where do I even start? I survived my first week at the MTC and now I'm no longer the newest group since a new group is coming today! Yay! My p-day is on Wednesday, FYI.
First off, shout out to EMILY LYDIA!. Also, GRAMS AND GRAMPS!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE COOKIES. They were so appreciated and I will write you soon. Also, the bubble wrap in the box was also a great surprise. Thank you to everyone else who wrote me. Dearelder.com is a great way to send me letters and I recommend everyone go and send me a letter as soon as you finish reading this. It will brighten my day. Plus, with as many siblings as I have, I should have been getting more mail! Guilt trip, anyone? But thank you to everyone who wrote me so far...it really helps.
So the first day here was a blur. I was dropped off, whisked away by another missionary, taken to get my tags, books, etc. and put on a bus headed to the west campus. It's pretty awesome over here. Everyone speaks/learns Spanish so it's really unique.
I met my companions...I'm in a trio with Hma. Hoffman and Hma. Chambers. They are both going to Cuernavaca with me We have 4 other elders in our district.One of the elders is coming to Cuernavaca with us, too so that is fun. I'm starting to really like my district. I think it took a while for everyone to warm up to each other. There are also a TON of other sisters going to our mission but they are in different districts/zones.
So my companions. Hma. Chambers is from Virginia and Hma. Hoffman is from Bountiful. Hma. Hoffman is literally a mix between Kasidy and Luna Lovegood. She falls asleep in class all the time and during a devotional, I caught her drooling! Haha...She is really happy and positive all the time. Hma. Chambers is super nice, too. We get along well. I'm still adjusting to having to be with someone ALL THE TIME! I'm also a freak about being on time and they aren't the fastest movers so that has been a struggle.
So, for anyone who was wodnering, I didn't cry my first night! You can tell Tom Longenecker that. He was wondering if I would or not. But don't worry, it all came out on Friday night. Missions are so overwhelming! Especially learning a language. We are in intermediate but I feel like I should be in beginner. It's slowly coming back to me but I was feeling frustrated with myself. We had to TEACH AN "INVESTIGATOR" on our 3rd day here...in Spanish. He is going to be our teacher in like a week, so I know it isn't real, but it is still so nerve-racking! I was just really getting down on myself. I felt like I needed to be fluent in SPanish and needed to know everything RIGHT NOW! Luckily we have AMAZING teachers here at the MTC who really know what's up. My teacher is Hma. Vawdry and she is super nice and helpful. We have other teachers who come in and help when she isn't here so that is nice.
Anyway, the first few days were a little hard. My first day everyone was saying "Make it 'til Sunday and you'll be fine!" I thought they were all being so dramatic because the first day was ok...but I realized what they meant when Sunday came. It was the BEST. We actually have time to breath and church and relief society was really uplifting. I saw Uncle Tom for the first time in the cafeteria on Sunday. IT WAS SO HARD NOT TO HUG HIM! I had to shake his hand and started crying becuase it was so nice to see him. He is an angel...literally. I was telling him that it has been a bit overwhelming and he said "It's like drinking from a fire hose, isn't it?" Um...yes. That is exactly what it's like. Literally, we are learning so much it is impossible to absorbe everything. He gave me some good advice about not have such high expectations and that the language will come soon enough (like when I'm in Mexico). I'm realizing that I'm a bit of a perfectionist with myself and need to just chill out a bit.
Also, we go up to main campus for a devotional. This Sunday it was Steven Allen, the managing director for the church's missionary dept. and it was a great devotional. He showed all these old LDS Homefront commercials and talked about each tag ling. You know...the ones that say "Family...isn't it about time?" and stuff like that but there were so many and they just warmed my heart. They also helped me realize that I needed to stop being so hard on myself and just do the best I can. After devo, we stayed on Main Campus and watched a recorded devo from Elder Bednar called "Character of Christ" and let me just say it literally changed my life. I LOVE Elder Bednar. I love all the general authorities. How blessed are we to have guidance and direction from God through these mighty men?! THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE! Anyway, i wish everyone could see that devo. He talked about how the character of christ is to turn outward when the natural man wants to turn in. WHen we are going through trials, generally, we turn inward and focus on all the hard things. Christ is different, in His times of trial, he turned out...he helped others. I just sat there thinking, I'm been so focused on my limitations this week that I have been forgetting what I'm doing here. I'm a representative of Christ. I literally have His name on my chest and i get to share His love and gospel with others full-time. He trusts me! Why am I so worried? Of course, it's hard to remind myself of that in the moment when I'm trying to explain to my investigator Fernando that God loves him and that Christ is the savior and that we have the fullness of the gospel on the earth today in Spanish and I can't remember what words to say...but they cool thing is, is that it doesn't matter. The spirit is the real teacher. Can you tell that I love Sundays?
Do I sound like a missionary or what? hehe
Monday I got my visa! What what! I went to Salt Lake City with about 9 other missionaries to appear at the consulate. It took about half the day. There were 9 sisters - 6 of us going to Cuernavaca and 1 Elder going to our mission, too. Grams-- he is in your stake in Lindon. Last name is Belliti (I think that is how you spell it). He says he knows your name because Gramps was the patriarch. Anwyay, it was fun to get to know the other Hermanas going with me to the mission! Also, random story! At the consulate there was this guy who was there helping us. I found out that he was mission comps with Justin Felkner and is in Kortni Seegmiller Rojas' ward right now! It was so fun to find a random connection! I wrote a note to Kortni and gave it to him telling her to have Kasidy write me! HELLO!!! :)
Tuesday we had a devotional at main campus again and it was W. Craig Zwick from the 70. His wife also spoke and it was great. It was funny because he was all "I was chatting with Elder Bednar this morning and he sends his love. Also, I had a bowl of soup for lunch with President Uchtdorf and he told me to say hi and that he loves you." Like it was no big deal! haha.
Last night after the devotional, we were heading back to our classrooms for district meeting and the elders were behind us. I jokingly said "race you back!" but of course I wasn't going to run. My comps and I thought we were ahead of them the whole time and got back to a dark apartment (that's where are classes are...in a converted apartment) and we were walking back to the class room and the elders jump out and scare the living daylights out of me! Also, I had to pee and they are luck I didn't wet my tights! Hahahaha! I still don't know how they got back before us because we never saw them pass us...they got a kick out of it. I thoguht it was pretty funny too. I'm glad we are able to have fun here.
Today is P-day and we went to the temple. It was nice to be there! I love the special spirit in the temple. I must admit, I was so tired it was hard to stay awake, but it was lovely. I also ran into Sean Gilmore today at the main campus when I went to print off some emails! I also wanted to give him a hug but I couldn't...so I gave him a handshake and instructions to give Cory a big hug for me!
MOM AND POP!! HAPPY 41ST ANNIVERSARY! Holy cow that is a long time! I'm so grateful you are my parents! I'm glad that Top of the World was fun
Also...SHOUT OUT TO BEN! #40 is less than a week away? How are you feeling? Old? haha! I love you and I better get an email for letter from you soon! That goes to all my sibs. But seriously, I hope you have a great birthday on Monday! I'll be thinking about you. :)
Mom- you said you have a bunch of questions but didn't actually ask many in your letter. If you have some, just write them and I'll be happy to answer!
I love you all! I'm so grateful for great family and great friends! I don't know how i got so lucky.
I'm grateful to be a missionary. This will be the hardest thing ever...but I know this is where I'm am needed most and I'm so grateful to know that! The church is true. Seriously, people. It is. I'm so grateful to know that my Savior lives and loves me. I'm so glad that I know there is purpose to this live and that I can be with my family forever someday.
Until next time!